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Function to format number as currency?

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Chris on 13 Mar 2012
Commented: dpb on 6 Jan 2022
I would like to format the number as a $xxx,xxx,xxx.xx currency, what is the easiest way to do this?

Accepted Answer

Oleg Komarov
Oleg Komarov on 13 Mar 2012
Or using java:
% Formatting according to locale
j = java.text.NumberFormat.getCurrencyInstance();
% Different currency
curr = java.util.Locale.US;
j = java.text.NumberFormat.getCurrencyInstance(curr);
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 11 Feb 2021
That is portable? There are ActiveX methods to query the environment on Windows, but not on Mac or Linux.
Mac and Linux use the LANG environment variable and optionally some other related variables to specialize particular facets. A lot of the time you only get LANG such as en_US and you need to search the tables of standards to find out how that corresponds to particular format rules... or you need to call operating system functions to do the work for you, which means hooking in a mex or dll.
It would not surprise me if there are Python functions available though.
Stephen23 on 3 Nov 2021
Edited: Stephen23 on 11 Dec 2021
"It would not surprise me if there are Python functions available though."

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More Answers (5)

Jan on 13 Mar 2012
function S = Sep1000Str(N)
S = sprintf('$%.2f', N);
S(2, length(S) - 6:-3:2) = ',';
S = transpose(S(S ~= char(0)));
Andrew Potvin
Andrew Potvin on 1 Feb 2019
Integrating Ian's comment into Jan's solution.
function S = Sep1000Str(N)
S = sprintf('$%.2f', N);
S(2,length(S)-6:-3:3) = ',';
% I.e. only the end index changed in above
S = transpose(S(S ~= char(0)));

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Stephen23 on 12 May 2020
Edited: Stephen23 on 11 Dec 2021
Just one simple Python call:
num = 98765432.1;
str = char(py.locale.currency(num, pyargs('grouping',py.True)))
str = '$98,765,432.10'
Or alternatively a simple regular expression:
str = sprintf('\x24%.2f',num); % \x24 = unicode dollar symbol
ans = '$98,765,432.10'
Change the currency symbol as required:
str = sprintf('\x20AC%.2f',num); % \x20AC = unicode euro symbol
ans = '€98,765,432.10'
Can easily be defined as a function:
fun = @(n,c) regexprep(sprintf('%s%.2f',c,n),'\d{1,3}(?=(\d{3})+\>)','$&,');
ans = '£1,234.50'

Ned Gulley
Ned Gulley on 13 Mar 2012
Using SPRINTF is the way to go, but getting the commas right is tricky. I turned this into a question for Cody to see what folks suggest there. Problem 495. Formatting currency numbers.
Here's my clunky MATLAB answer, but I like Oleg's Java solution better.
function str = disp_currency(amt)
str = fliplr(sprintf('%10.2f',abs(amt)));
str = regexprep(str,' ','');
str = str(sort([1:length(str) 7:3:length(str)]));
str(7:4:length(str)) = ',';
str = ['$' fliplr(str)];
if amt<0
str = ['(' str ')'];
Nicholas Copsey
Nicholas Copsey on 4 Apr 2020
can I pass an array into this function and have it work?
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 4 Apr 2020
No, but you can
arrayfun(@disp_currency, YourArray, 'uniform', 0)
The output would be a cell array of character vectors, the same size as the input array.

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Steven Lord
Steven Lord on 3 Feb 2018
If you want all the numbers displayed by your code to appear as currency, use format bank.
Laura Lennuyeux-Comnene
Laura Lennuyeux-Comnene on 30 Mar 2020
i think that is my favourite answer so far! although will have to check out help! to figure out how to use it ...
dpb on 6 Jan 2022
Indeed. Plus, it applies to everything, not just the currency variable(s).
I stumbled over this thread while looking for the same need for figure labels -- and first found Yair Altman's Undocumented site that illustrates the Java solution. That works nicely with the arrayfun solution as shown by Walter that can be packaged as a little utility routine.
BUT -- in this day and age, to not have such available in a much more usable and user-friendly manner is simply not acceptable state of affairs. Particularly the table object should be able to set a format by variable even though it isn't practical at the command window globally.
As the regulars are aware, I've been fiddling with the financial spreadsheets of the local community college Foundation for past couple of years in building some tools for them while we are still in transition to a real accounting package, plus we'll need to be able to retrieve data from the historical files for a long time going forward. In doing that I use the MATLAB table to retrieve the data from the spreadsheets, manipulate it and then put it back or create new ones. At the command window when doing this I do use format bank, format short, but it has the drawback that there are often tables with other variables like IDs or the like that are integral and then they're also shown with the two decimal places. It's not fatal, but annoying.

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Geoff on 13 Mar 2012
Hehe, everyone's got a different function. I wrote a pretty inefficient tail-recursive solution, which might not be the "MatLab way"... Jan's seems the best that uses MatLab features, but Oleg's would be the most correct. Some locales interchange the dot and comma (and I think sprintf will follow the locale for the '%.2f' part), so everyone else's answer (including mine) is just a fun hack =)
% eg: num2currency( 123456.789 );
function [s] = num2currency (n, idx)
if isnumeric(n)
nstr = sprintf('$%.2f', n);
s = num2currency( nstr, length(nstr) - 5 );
elseif ~ischar(n) || nargin ~= 2
error( 'Invalid parameters' );
elseif idx < 3
s = n;
s = num2currency( [n(1:idx-1) ',' n(idx:end)], idx-3 );


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